All this week I've had mill-wide meetings at work. I've been leaving at 6 a.m. and getting home at 7 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Chip texted that he was going to a movie that evening but would feed the dogs before he left.
When I got home, Shelby greeted me at the door. Thor was in the kennel, where he has to stay when we're not home because he keeps chewing up the sofa. (Most recently, on Wednesday). I let him out and kept waiting for Bandit to come trotting up from the back of the house.
Only he didn't.
So I went looking for him.
Chip had had the carpets in our bedroom and my office cleaned that day, so those door were closed. Presumably to keep the dogs out. But I figured B may have accidentally gotten shut up in one of those rooms.
Only he wasn't.
I looked in my closet and in the bath tub where he likes to hide when storms are coming. I looked under Chip's desk.
Where the hell was Bandit?
Our house is not that big. When I couldn't find him inside, I went to see if he was in the backyard.
Sidebar: Our house is raised, so we have latticework along the bottom to keep the dogs from going under the house to get out of the backyard. Last week we caught Bandit pulling the slats out of the lattice to try to get out of the yard. When I tell you this dog is a RUNNER, trust. We pulled a ladder in front of the latticework to block him from getting out until we can replace it.
So he's not in the yard, and the ladder is pulled away from the house.
Damn. Here we go again.
I grabbed my phone and tracked the Find My device for his Apple tag. It told me he was last tracked about a half-mile down 21st Ave, the 45-mph road at the end of our street. I jumped in the Jeep and took off after him. 21st Ave has only sporadic street lights. The sides of the road are pretty dark. I called Chip, who was at the theater but the movie hadn't started yet. He rushed home to help me find him.
Then the Apple tag stopped updating. Just like it did in Florida. Only that time we believe it's because he went swimming on the beach, since he was wet when I found him. This time it just stopped updating. For more than 15 minutes. Chip said we had to go to the exact spot he was last identified because he could've been hit by a car and lying on the side of the road.
It was the worst 30 minutes of my life. We searched the side of the road with flashlights, needing to look, but afraid to see. We found nothing.
Finally, the app updated. He was on our road. "Go! Go! Go!" I instructed Chip. He raced back to our street and found Bandit, who seemed to be trying to find his way home.
Chip said he seemed scared, and was relieved to jump right into Chip's car.
So he's back home and safe. But here's the mystery: HOW did he get out??
He escaped from the yard, not the house. We have real, regular door knobs in the house, not the kind dogs can open. Chip would never let two dogs into the house and leave one in the yard. Especially not Bandit, our runner. So how did he get out?
I was telling this story to a friend at work, and he said, "When you retire, you need to write a book. No one has the stories you do!"
I said, "I haven't even told you about the ghost in my house yet!"
Wait a minute. Hold on a sec. WHAT IF THE GHOST LET BANDIT OUT??